(editor’s note in 2016: Psychoanalyst Jessica Benjamin gave this talk at the Tikkun conference in New York City in 1988 at a time when many leftist groups were contending that their particular oppression was greater than others, and that those others must acknowledge how terribly they had sinned to participate in the oppression of whichever group was claiming at the moment to be “most oppressed.” Though she does not mention it explicitly, her words ring particularly true for those in the Jewish world who have been told they have no right to criticize the State of Israel because Jewish oppression has been worse than that of any other group.)

In the sixties we evolved a new kind of “scientific” radicalism, the pursuit of what we might call “victimology,” the highest stage of what Lenin never called “left-wing moralism—a gerontological disorder.” Victimology is the...

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